Motsoaledi: Premiers must ensure no more Esidimenis

Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says although he’s responsible for the department nationally, the authority to make decisions lies with provincial health departments.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi visited the Mediosa mobile clinic in the North West on Friday, 2 March 2018. Picture: Hitekani Magwedze/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says he’s pleading with premiers across the country to pay closer attention to provincial health departments to avoid tragedies like the Life Esidimeni scandal.

He says although he’s responsible for the department nationally, the authority to make decisions lies with provincial departments.

Motsoaledi was speaking in the North West where the Health Department entered into an illegal contract with Gupta-linked company Mediosa.

Motsoaledi says incidents such as the North West Mediosa scandal prove that legislation needs to be amended to afford him more authority.

He says in the meantime, premiers must play a bigger role in oversight.

“Particularly the premiers who wield power to have mercy upon our people. This is an appeal that yes they do have the constitutional power to take these decisions, but they must take them in the interest of our people and nothing else.”

Motsoaledi on Friday described the Mediosa contract as a mobile ATM card used by the Gupta family to withdraw money from government.

However, North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo says the minister visited the province without the courtesy of informing his office.

He says minister Motsoaledi didn’t bother talking to his government about any progress made and instead chose the populist approach.